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As we gather to pray, let us recall all those who share, and those who have shared, the charism of Edmund with us. Let us remember also all those who have been served in the spirit of Edmund. (Pause)
We include this multitude of people in our prayer and as we pray for them, we honour Edmund.
PRAYER INSPIRED BY BLESSED EDMUND:
All: O God, we thank you for the life of Blessed Edmund.
The life of Edmund Rice was spent in the service of the poorest of the poor. From a life of comfort and wealth, Edmund gave everything up to serve the Lord in a life of dedicated service. (Pause)
All: He opened his heart to Christ present in those oppressed by poverty and injustice.
When Edmund saw the poor, he recognised he was seeing the suffering Christ and he knew that a cup of water given in his name was indeed an act of supreme love of God. (Pause)
All: May we follow his example of faith and generosity.
The generosity of Edmund can, perhaps, frighten us into inactivity. Can we, however, make even the smallest sacrifice to help those who are in need? Can we act with faith knowing that we may not see the outcome of our generosity in our lifetime? That is true faith. (Pause)
All: Grant us the courage and compassion of Edmund.
Compassion means really feeling for the suffering of others and acting out of this feeling of solidarity with the poor. This demands real courage because it may ask us to do the difficult thing in response to the suffering of the poor. (Pause)
All: (Strengthen us) as we seek to live lives of love and service.
Love lies at the heart of all concern, where we overcome our own needs and reach out to those less fortunate. Love transforms lives because love is a decision to go beyond our own needs for the sake of the other. Love is not a feeling. It is a decision. (Pause)
All: (Help us to love.) We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Lord, you are life, wisdom, truth, blessing and blessedness. You are our hope and our joy. We acknowledge with thanksgiving that you have made us in your image. Direct our thoughts to you and lead us to serve you in the spirit of Blessed Edmund so that we will come to love, enjoy and possess you more and more. Amen.
(Adapted from St. Anselm)
THE SACRED STORY (Liam Lawton)